Notes – Growing in Holiness Through Middle Management

Today at the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership convention in St. Louis I am offering a breakout session on holiness and management. Below are my slides, notes, and additional resources for those who may be interested in living out their vocation as a catechetical leader.



The notes from this presentation are available in PDF format.

Additional Resources

A Journey Concluded

pathThis past Saturday our diocesan Department for Catechetical Services completed a one-year pilot project. Entitled “Journey of Discipleship,” we partnered with Ss. James and Patrick parish in Decatur, Illinois, and offered monthly adult formation sessions on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The project began in the summer of 2012 when, in the course of a discussion at one of our department meetings, one of my colleagues wondered aloud what it would be like if the members of our various offices took over a parish for one year, bringing to bear our knowledge, skills, and expertise in a concerted way across our various responsibilities.

That eventually lead us to the determination to partner with a parish for one year and help them to better understand how to grow in holiness and as disciples. Following a “Come and See” event last December, each month we offered a five-hour session on a different aspect of holiness:

  • The Four Pillars of the Christian Life
  • Regular Appointments with God
  • Full, Conscious and Active Participation in the Liturgy
  • Active Participation in Ongoing Faith Formation
  • A Missionary Mindset
  • A Simple and Sacrificial Lifestyle
  • Building Common Ground
  • Chaste Living
  • Commitment to Life, Charity and Justice
  • Following the Precepts of the Church
  • Discerning the Movement of the Holy Spirit

It has been a wonderful, Spirit-inspired journey with the people of Ss. James and Patrick. It is rare for diocesan staff to have the opportunity to forge such relationships with a parish and we are already looking for ways in which to replicate the success of this program with other parishes in our diocese.

The handouts, slides, and select videos of the sessions are available online at

The Church makes people holy

Two girls came to the surgery for another bottle of medicine for their mothers.

‘It did your mother good, then?’ said the doctor to the first. ‘Here’s another bottle, then. Make sure she has it after meals.’

The other girl said her mother wasn’t any better.

‘Too bad,’ said the doctor. ‘I wonder if I ought to change the medicine.’

‘She said it didn’t make her cough any better, though she rubbed it on her chest night and morning.’

‘Rubbed it on! No wonder she isn’t better. Can’t she read the label ”” One tablespoonful in water to be taken three times a day”? No medicine is going to cure people if they don’t use it.’

The same is true of prayer and the sacraments. The Church offers to us all the means of holiness, but if we don’t use them, or if we misuse them, they will not help us.

Chesterton said : ‘Christianity has not failed, it has never been tried.’ The people who really have tried it are the saints: they are the people who make full use of the helps Our Lord has given us.

– Rev. F.H. Drinkwater, Catechism Stories Part I: the Creed (1939)